For a long time now, O Boticário’s holiday and end-of-year campaigns have been moving Brazilians with stories that speak to people’s lives: a separated couple that reunites to spend Christmas with their young daughter, the stepfather who celebrates Father’s Day with the stepdaughter he helped raise, the mother who realizes that in the rush of her daily routine, she tends to express her feelings less to her kids, and so on.
For the end of 2018, O Boticário put together something entirely different, with creative work by AlmapBBDO: a fictional nuclear family and other related characters. With lives and stories that speak to those of consumers, they’ll be the stars of the messaging developed by the brand for commemorative dates throughout 2019.
In the debut campaign, the family – Daniela the mom, Marcos the dad, their teenage daughter Marina, their young son Lucas, and their triplet nieces Duda, Joana, and Laila – stars in all three of the brand’s Christmas spots.
The first spot, “Choir,” shows the mother going through a powerful experience as she directs the end-of-year choir concert at the school where she works. The commercial features a very special young actor with hearing deficiencies.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about and what was your role in the creation?
Every year, O Boticário puts out very moving spots around this time of year. People are already primed and expecting a touching story about now. What we did this year was to create a variety of stories using the same family, something like a mockumentary. So we could touch people’s hearts with “Choir,” for example, but we also found room for other sorts of emotions, such as the sweet story in “Reindeer” and a hard-sell approach in “Triplets.” All using interconnected characters.
Was the brief for this holiday campaign any different that than the usual? What challenges did that present?
The biggest challenge, in practice, is making something that’ll have an even bigger impact than what we did last year. John Lewis is a great example of that. Every year you have to outdo the last, which is never an easy task. This year, the difference in our briefing was that we had to launch a product (Botica 214) with three different fragrances, while staying within the Christmas theme.
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
As for the format, the success of shows like Modern Family, for example, encouraged us to use a single family with a dash of mockumentary. From a screenwriting point of view, we were looking for something inspirational. A story about inclusion, nowadays, is about as inspirational as you can get. And it’s wonderful to have a client that truly embraces this and other causes!
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
Well, it’s no secret, because it wound up becoming a part of the content. And we were really happy to share it. During breaks while we were shooting “Choir,” Leonan (the boy with a hearing deficiency who’s the star of the spot) would draw things on his tablet: the director, the people around him, the shots. Dulcidio Caldeira, the director of the film, noticed this and had the lovely idea of “recreating” the commercial through Leonan’s drawings. The same story, seen from the boy’s perspective. That became more content for the client – they loved the idea – and was included at the end of the extended version of the commercial.
Are there any holiday ad tropes that you think should be retired by now?
I think that any campaign or idea that reinforces prejudices, for example, should be gone for good.
What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time?
I love the John Lewis spots, as I said. But if I had to choose a single campaign, it’d be “Sorry, I spent it on myself,” for Harvey Nichols. I think it’s amazingly funny. And the contrast with other spots from the season definitely made it a hit.
What can we expect from your Agency in 2019?
That we’ll do everything we can to be better than we were in 2018.
What do you think the advertising industry's New Year’s resolution should be?
Less competition, more courage.